Without US-China trade war, copper price would be higher – Antofagasta chairman

Jean-Paul Luksic, Antofagasta’s Chairman. Photo by Antofagasta.

A trade war between the United States and China is depressing the price of copper and the red metal would be 5% to 15% higher without the dispute, the chairman for Chile’s Antofagasta Plc told a Chilean newspaper on Sunday.

“Without the commercial war, I am convinced that the price of copper would be between $3.20 and $3.50 per pound,” Jean-Paul Luksic said in an interview with El Mercurio.

Despite a rebound on Friday on hopes of an agreement between Washington and Beijing, the value of copper registered its fourth consecutive weekly decline. It is currently about $3 per pound.

Luksic said that the market has good prospects, but the red metal is hurting more than it should be.

The bruising trade war, which has slowed the global economy, is clouding the outlook for demand from top metals consumer China.

“As long as this uncertainty persists, the low prices will continue,” said Luksic, who will also lead the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit in Santiago this year.

(By Fabian Cambero; writing by Cassandra Garrison; Editing by Lisa Shumaker).